Officers of the federation of trade unions of the Zapolyarny branch of Norilsk Nickel have stopped their hunger strike, the press service of Norilsk Nickel reported. According to Vitaly Bobrov, the head of the Zapolyarny branch, "the trade unions have realized that they would not achieve anything, because the administration was acting within legislation and in strict compliance with Russian laws". Bobrov noted that doctors were ready to render assistance to the strikers, if there was a necessity.
As reported earlier, the strike started on February 6, 2003. Trade union members demanded a 14 percent indexation of salaries instead of the current 6 percent. On the whole some 50 people took part in the hunger strike.
The remarks from the Pope came as "a very strong step towards degradation," "given the rather massive nature of homosexuality" among the Catholic clergy.